JOY --- Jesus On the JourneY

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Twas the Night Before Christmas and Through the Bell House

Here we are pre-Christmas Eve Scourge!
The guests were dropping like flies
with the Stomach bug "Louse"

The gourmet meals were quickly replaced
With soda crackers, broth and gatorade.
While throughout the brightly lit rooms
Sprawled on couches all my company laid.

In a stupor they watched the games on tv
 And packages were abandoned under the tree.

I had been dreaming and planning for the Perfect Christmas. You know, the ones on the Hallmark cards--- All my loved ones were coming HERE for Christmas --- the first time we would be together in Tulsa on Christmas Day since about 2004!!!
Bethany, her mother-in-law, Jan and I had coordinated our meals -- Jan  had sent her favorite recipes ahead so we could have ingredients on hand -- it was going to be a culinary feast all weekend!!!!  I had shopped for just the right brisket -- Jan had sent a wonderful ham and carrot cake and there was Terry and Bethany's traditional fudge pecan pie to prepare and cranberry chutney chilling in the fridge --

Terry had perfected his sermons for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day -- we had prayed over the entire weekend.

First Terry, -- having to leave the very BRIEF Christmas eve service and in about 30 minutes me -- I begged off dinner and asked Bethany to carry the ball to keep our Christmas Eve dinner going while I went to bed  --  

Marshall and Bethany brought us trash cans, wet rags, tonic water and pepto bismol -- Mat's parents came down with it in their hotel about 4 hours later and Marshall 2 hours after that and Katie soon after. Everyone said they didn't remember when they'd been so sick.
Our kids set a place for us since we couldn't get out of bed

BUMMER FOR BETHANY, MAT AND CAMPBELL -- this Christmas was going to be the BIG ONE for Campbell Hope!   

BUT --
We all know each other a little better now and are sharing war stories of who was sickest.  We don't have many pictures to post of our holiday, past Saturday morning when we all went to the Philbrook for our Big ORANGE Holiday photo session.

Every time Katie comes to Tulsa something major happens.  In August it was 100+ days, In November it was earthquakes and this holiday we shared the "bug" with her!

Hmmm . . .
how many times had I said on Friday, "I don't want you all to feel stuffed this holiday -- the meals are prepared for us to simply enjoy -- but don't make yourself miserable with all the eating!"

... Wonder why at the last minute before everyone arrived on Friday I had Terry scrub out all the trash cans with bleach. 

FINALLY,  last night we were able to make it to the table again -- our first time since Friday night to enjoy Marshall's wonderful smoked brisket.
Our beautiful photographer doubled as our hostess for this holiday

 YET . . .

I am very thankful --
that we all got 3 1/2 days together -- taking care of each other -- giving each other grace.
That we're all on the mend.
 That we got to enjoy our Campbell Hope. 

That 3 of us stayed well -- that Campbell didn't have a relapse.

That all seven are already home safe.

Thankful for the cherished gifts -- that our kids sacrificed and saved for:
that wonderful all-guy-fishing trip for Terry late next summer
my much needed cutlery and wonderful new gourmet stock pot
lots of fun stocking stuffer.

This holiday there was lots of grace given and love shared as we wiped each others heads and passed the broth and gatorade.

We prayed for a different holiday -- this is what we were given and I believe HE knew what HE was doing.  Today as I'm regaining some of my strength and washing up all the bedding -- I am tempted to wish for more -- but then I was reminded in a very powerful way--

For one of my friends -- she was told this would be her last Christmas.  It all took on a new perspective.

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